The "Great Minnesota Get-Together?" More like, The Great Minnesota Sing-Along!
It's hard to describe the amount of happiness that flows through your body as the lights dim and one of your favorite music artists appears on stage right in front of you. Many thoughts fly around your brain, a few maybe even being: "Holy crap he/she's real" "I can't believe this is happening right now," and maybe even a "yep, I was so not prepared for this." Those are just a few of the comments that I found myself not only thinking, but saying out loud (oops) as Niall Horan took the stage Thursday night on the opening day of the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.
From the moment his foot hit the stage, before even singing a single note, screams erupted from the crowd of 9,500+. It was at that very moment that I felt as though I was going to pass out because there he was, standing center stage, guitar in hand singing, "On The Loose." Not only was he belting out the words to his catchy single, but he was already doing his little dance moves/hops around the stage which just may be one of the cutest things ever. If you've ever seen it, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
"The Tide" came next which starts out with the lyric, "Oh no, get ready" and let me tell you, I was definitely NOT ready for what followed. Niall looked so happy and ran around the stage starting to interact with the crowd. His smile was contagious and it was evident that he truly loves performing and sharing his music with the world. It was also during this song that I really noticed what Niall was wearing.
If you are a Niall stan (haha), like myself, you probably have a billion pictures of the lad saved into your camera roll ranging from ones he looks beyond happy in, ones where his outfit is on point, and most likely even a few throwbacks. Let's just say that the "Flicker World Tour" has been quite the gift as every night he has seemed to be looking quite lovely, and the Minnesota show was no exception. He sported a nice pair of rolled up denim jeans with embroidered pockets, a grayish white polo-like shirt, and some cute brown (I think leather) boots. It's great how he doesn't wear anything too crazy and flamboyant, yet still manages to stand out and look amazing.
Following "The Tide" was his debut solo single, "This Town" and "Paper Houses" which caused me to tear up halfway through because it's a track that has just really touched my heart from the start. The perfect love song, "You and Me" followed and then Niall dove into a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" which he seemed to have the time of his life performing. Prior to singing the cover, he mentioned how Springsteen is one of his all-time favorite artists.
A definite highlight came next when Niall brought opener, Maren Morris back up on stage to perform their collaboration, "Seeing Blind." It was evident, especially during the joyful chorus that the two have truly become great friends which makes for one special performance. Plus you can't help but love a catchy song about a giddy romance!
The title track, "Flicker" came next which ended up being one of the most magical moments that I have ever experienced live in concert. The track itself is so special and Niall has mentioned many times how it's his favorite track on the album and how it means so much to him. I don't know if the moment was so magical because of the beautiful track itself, or because he had everybody put their phones away and really live in the moment, but it truly was incredible and is now a moment that I'll never forget.
Throughout the duration of the show, Niall played every song on his solo debut album, "Flicker" and even a few bonus tracks including "So Long" and "Finally Free." He mentioned how "So Long" is a track that he wished he would have put on the album, but at the time it just didn't seem right. He also played the piano during it which was quite the treat. Although it's an unreleased song, that didn't stop the fans from knowing every word! Maybe he will release the song in the future (I hope), but if not it's a special moment for those who get to see him live in concert. "Finally Free" is such a fun and upbeat track and had everybody dancing along to it. It is featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming animated film, "Smallfoot."
A few other bonus tracks were One Direction's "Fool's Gold" and "Drag Me Down." Niall did a great job at making the two 1D tracks his own by playing "Fool's Gold" acoustic and turning "Drag Me Down" more rockish. As you could guess both were highlights of the show and I sure felt the 1D nostalgia!
Niall saved his best sing-alongs for last as he closed out the night with "Slow Hands" and "Mirrors." The atmosphere in the building was incredible. Overall, Niall Horan put on one heck of a show at The Minnesota State Fair Grandstand. The night ended with fireworks blasting off into the sky as Niall walked off stage and I can't think of a better ending to a perfect night.
A few amazing things that I saw/heard throughout the show that I thought should be mentioned:
1. A "Crazy MOFO" shirt (If you know, you know). I felt this so hard...the nostalgia!
2. A Harry doll being waved in the air.
3. A giant Niall "Fathead" with "Legend" written above it.
4. A sign reading, "I missed my first week of college for this." YOU GO GIRL!
5. After "Fools Gold" Niall yelled "Fu*k yeah" and was shook because of how "good" we sounded. Apparently, Minnesota peeps actually hit the notes for once. After Niall complimented us a guy towards the front said, "oh stop!" & Niall couldn't stop laughing (we all know he has the best laugh).
6. Niall singing "New York State of Mind" pre-soundcheck. (The show hadn't even started and I was already on the floor).
7. Niall's face when the fireworks started going off. (lol did they not warn him?!)
8. Niall's huge smile as the crowd sings his lyrics back to him.
Want to see Niall Horan live? You know you do! Check out his tour dates
1. On The Loose
2. The Tide
3. This Town
4. Paper Houses
5. You and Me
6. Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
7. Seeing Blind (with Maren Morris)
9. Fool's Gold (One Direction song)
10. Too Much To Ask
11. So Long (Unreleased song)
12. Since We're Alone
13. Fire Away
14. Finally Free
15. On My Own
16. Drag Me Down (One Direction song)
17. Slow Hands